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First Aid Basics

No matter how hard we try to avoid it accidents do happen, especially when there are little people involved. The worst will usually happen when you least expect it, so it makes sense to be prepared for any eventuality.

Simple injuries can turn fatal with one wrong move. That is why you must always have a fully stocked first aid kit in your home, and always leave your child in the care of someone who knows how to use it!

Your First Aid Kit
Every home should have a first aid kit in it. You can buy pre-packaged first aid kits from most major pharmacies or first aid organisations. If you would rather pack your own, here is a list of essentials that you should include in your kit;

  • Antibiotic cream
  • Anti-diarrhoea medication
  • Anti-inflammatory (usually an ibuprofen based product)
  • Anti-nausea and vomiting medication
  • Anti-septic liquid and cream (products like Dettol or Savlon will work here)
  • Arm sling
  • Bandage tape
  • Bandages (try to ensure that you have a selection of crepe and elastic bandages in various sizes)
  • Calamine lotion
  • Cotton wool (swabs or roll)
  • CPR mouth barrier
  • Ear buds
  • Eye patch
  • Hydrocortisone cream to be used for itchy and irritated skin
  • Ice packs
  • Medical gloves
  • Pain relievers (generally a paracetamol based product)
  • Plasters
  • Rehydration fluids (a product like Rehydrate will work here)
  • Safety pins
  • Saline based eye drops (a product like Eye gene will work here)
  • Scissors
  • Sterile burn dressings
  • Sterile gauze
  • Tongue depressors
  • Torch
  • Tweezers

Emergency Essentials
There are certain things that every mom should know in order to deal with any unforeseen event. No one is immune to accidents and emergencies and it is always best to be safe rather than sorry.

  1. Make sure that you know what your local emergency numbers are. Keep these on hand and make sure that there is always an updated emergency contacts list next to every phone in the house. It’s a good idea to print out an emergency numbers list and put it on your fridge and next to all household telephones.
  2. Always have a well stocked first aid kit on hand. It is advisable to have one in your home and in your car.
  3. Make sure that your house number is easily visible from the street. If the emergency services can’t see your house number they may not get to you in time to offer effective assistance.
  4. Keep a clear, up-to-date medical records file with the medical details of your entire family in it. You should include full immunisation history, medical conditions, medications and dosages, allergies and reactions.
  5. Keep your medical aid card or details on you at all times. You may need to keep copies of these in your car and in easily accessible places around your home. Ensure that all childcare workers in your home know where these details are and how important it is to produce them in the event of an emergency.
  6. Take first aid classes! We cannot stress enough how important it is for parents and caretakers to attend first aid classes. It could mean the difference between life and death for you and your child.

The above are merely guidelines on how to deal with an emergency. The minute that you hire a new caregiver for your children, you must brief them on possible emergency situations and how to handle these. Make sure that anyone who takes care of your children is fully trained in first aid.

How to Act In an Emergency
All it takes is a normal Saturday morning for disaster to strike. As a mom it’s really important that you’re prepared for anything, especially if the worst happens. Here are a few tips on handling an emergency situation; they might help you to save someone’s life.

  1. Stay Calm! In any emergency situation it is essential that you remain as calm as possible. If you panic you will cause the injured party unnecessary panic and stress. You may also inflict further damage by doing something that you haven’t thought through.
  2. Use the Stop- Think- Act process! When confronted with an emergency situation take a few seconds to assess what’s happened. Think through the steps you are about to take and then act. This will ensure that the actions that you take are correct and are not done in a panic.
  3. Do not move a severely injured person. You do not know the extent of their injuries and could cause further damage

If you do not know what to do get professional help. Do not attempt to implement life saving techniques unless you have the proper training.

Never ever leave a first aid kit in the hands of an untrained person. This could do more harm than good. Ensure that anyone who is left in charge of your child is fully trained in emergency first aid and has access to all important emergency numbers.

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